Portugal: Nienaber’s 65 sets up weekend chase

Despite two bogeys, Wilco Nienaber produced the best round of the day on Friday in the second round of the Portugal Masters on the European Tour, his six-under-par 65 vaulting him to seven-under for the tournament and a share of third.

While he is a yawning seven strokes behind the leader, France’s Julien Guerrier, such has been the quality of his play that he is widely regarded as being able to close that gap and contend over the weekend.

He made eight birdies, with his eye-watering length off the tee – he leads the tour in distance off the tee – being a factor in setting up so many chances. Despite that, he made a bogey on one of the three par-fives.

George Coetzee added a second-round one-under-70 to his tally to go into the weekend at six-under-par for the tournament, one shot behind Nienaber and very much in contention.

Brandon Stone also carded a 70 with three bogeys on his homeward nine hampering what could have been a more impressive climb up the leaderboard. He finds himself in a share of 18th, nine shots off the pace.

Bryce Easton finished on level-par for the second round, and is two-under for the tournament.

Haydn Porteous, Jbe’ Kruger, Justin Walters and Jacques Kruyswijk missed the cut.

Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent matched Nienaber’s 65 to join him at seven-under and set up a weekend chase of Guerrier.

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